Christ-child Fire in the Sky

Miracles when we need them: Christ-child fire in the sky. Photo by John.

I am hungry for light.

Lately life has been swallowed up by death as there have been far too many very ill people to visit, and, as it happens, the people I love and I have been growing old together. Something is pursuing us, and closing in.

So we are all haunted by the soft steps of aching, and all-around weakness, and the loss of those we dearly love.

Now a very dear one has entered the short last chapter of her life titled “hospice,” and subtitled “palliative.”

She is at peace. That emergent Spirit-miracle that God gives unexpectedly has welled up inside her, and she is at peace. The doctors have stopped their pretending and extending, and have finally agreed that her time has come.

But none who know her are ready for this. I know I am not. There is a stone in my stomach now. There is weariness. There is staring at one spot as I wonder how much more we can stand to lose.

I am not ready for any more talk about cancer. I’m not fit to bring up any more news on my phone. I’m sickened to death by the body counts from Gaza and mass shootings in schools and on the streets.

I’m hungry for light. So, on my way to weep with my fellow pastor writing her last chapter I listen to Handel’s Messiah, and I ache in a great good way when those deep voices assure me that the glory is coming, “For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”

And after the dogs run with me and quietly down their dinner, I step outside. The night is closing in, but is seems that darkness is being swallowed by light. There is the gift of the glory of the Christ-child fire in the sky.

Thank you Lord.

About John

John is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who has served congregations for over 40 years, including in rural, suburban, campus ministry and urban settings. His love of Border Collie sheepdogs has been fortified by his many friendships with shepherds all around the world. Nothing he has ever or will ever accomplish is as significant as the patience God, his wife and his friends have shown in putting up with his deficiencies.
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